I hate writing about games that I just want to say… “Ignore this and go out and get it…” Namely, because I need to fill space with something that I am telling you, dear reader, to not bother reading and that is the case with NUTS. Ignore everything, get it and go in with as little knowledge as possible.
What starts as a simple looking cute game about monitoring squirrels in their natural habitat soon goes places and turns NUTS from a lovely looking game into one of the most intriguing experiences I have had.
If I were to describe the game I would say it is something that takes inspiration from Firewatch but from a team that loves a wildlife documentary. Specifically, BBC based ones that look at the smaller animals.
You are tasked with monitoring the local inhabitants of Melmoth Forest and whilst initially, everything seems calm and mundane, you find yourself in a bit of a mystery that unfolds in some very interesting ways.
Whilst the story and the mystery grabbed me, I am here for the surveillance. I absolutely loved the idea of setting up equipment and capturing squirrels as they went about their business. It brought a calmness that many games just cannot. It was one of the most serene experiences I have had and was almost meditative in its approach.
The pacing is in keeping with the relaxed nature too. NUTS gives you a few cues here and there, but also makes it known that you should relax and enjoy things at your own pace. It feels like there’s loads to do, but in truth, you are doing very little. Recording and tracking is pretty much it. Yet it is in this one thing that somehow the world feels alive and you feel like you are constantly involved, but again not in a rushed way.
I did have some issues with the palette used for the art-style, but that was down to my own vision problems at the time, so maybe some accessibility option would have been nice, but there is no denying that NUTS is a visual masterpiece. It uses low key colours and designs to bring the world to life and bring some really clever visual cues to help guide you.
I could go on about NUTS for a long time, but I should be talking to no one right now, as you should have heeded my advice to ignore all this and bought it. I am going back to the forest to get more footage. 1 small request though, some DLC of the main mechanic but for other animals would be one instant sale.